A Patriot Lost

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” — Jack Layton, 1950-2011

I had other things that I had planned to write today. But when my wife phoned me this morning to tell me that the leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, Jack Layton, had lost his battle with cancer, those plans changed.

I have spent much of today thinking about how far this man brought his party. I have spent much of today thinking how he was perhaps the greatest Canadian leader in recent memory, regardless of party. I have also spent much of today formulating plans on how I can leave a legacy that is a sliver of what he has left behind. But planning is only part of what Jack Layton was good at…he was also very good at doing. Another quote of his was running through my productivity-riddled mind as I wrote this:

“Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.”

If more politicians were like Jack Layton, the world would be a better place. Thanks, Smiling Jack. You were one in a billion.